2021

Tasmanian Architecture Awards

Dirk Bolt Award for Urban Design

2021

Tasmanian Architecture Awards

Alan C Walker Award for Public Architecture

2021

Tasmanian Architecture Awards

Colorbond Steel Architecture

2021

Tasmanian Landscape Architecture Awards

Landscape Architecture Award for Tourism

2021

Architizer A+ Awards

Transportation Infrastructure - Jury Winner

2021

Architizer A+ Awards

Cultural & Expo Centres - Jury Winner

2021

National Landscape Architecture Awards

Landscape Architecture for Tourism

2021

National Architecture Awards

Finalist

Location

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

Client

Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Services

Year

2020

Images

Anjie Blair + Rob Burnett

Land of

Big River Nation

Jesse Hunniford

Video

+

Playstreet

Futago

ERA Planning

Inspired by Marketing

Creative Hat interpretation

Alex Miles

Aldanmark

COVA

Pitt & Sherry

Green Building Surveying

Green Design Group

Stantec

Cohen & Associates

NVC Acoustics

WT Partnership

Fairbrother

Cradle Mountain

Visitor Centre

Sharp geometric forms beckon to a honeyed cave.

Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre is a building of contrasts. It’s imposing but harmonious. It’s an abstract interpretation of nature. And it’s modern with a rightness unrooted in time. Most surprising of all, perhaps, is how the raw exterior unwinds into a warm, soft, delicate timber lining.

With wild rainforests, rolling grasslands and roaming Tassie Devils, it's no surprise Cradle Mountain entices a surging number of visitors. But how can you design a meaningful visitor experience in a footprint never intended to accommodate that number of guests? The Visitor Centre is the first development in a major plan to reimagine the iconic Cradle Mountain experience.

The Visitor Centre offers a warm alpine welcome to reflect both the sense of rugged-up anticipation on arrival and the distinctive Cradle Mountain geology. The sculptural, wilderness-inspired development includes an orientation building, commercial services base, shuttle bus shelter and coach transit centre. At every turn, we aimed to honour the significance and sensitivity of this world-renowned national park.

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Materials to mirror nature

We designed the buildings to feel grounded, as if carved from a solid rock by a glacier. The umbrella rain-screen form references the folding angular geology of the site, inviting visitors into the cave-like timber interior.

The choice of timber for the interior was about the poetics and qualities of the place. Because timber is natural, guests feel connected to nature. It often evokes a response other materials don’t.

Measured tourists footprints

The design required an in-depth understanding of visitor movements across the site. It needed to accommodate the wide gap between peak and average visitor numbers and feel inviting in both cases. 

Our intuitive way-finding strategy creates a flow to subtly guide visitors while they interact with site interpretation and visitor information. We used a hierarchy of space that organises services but lets the staggering natural setting sing out. 

No mountain high enough

The Visitor Centre design went through many iterations as more stakeholders saw the project’s potential. But we’re proud the essence and guiding goals remained constant throughout, even as other aspects shifted around them. It’s quite a feeling to walk inside the sculpted interior timber cave, a completely unexpected gem inside the building. Whilst the triangulated timber volume’s complex geometry proved a technical challenge, it’s all the more satisfying to admire it now knowing the hard work involved. 

CRADLE MOUNTAIN

VISITOR CENTRE

2021

Tasmanian Architecture Awards

Dirk Bolt Award for Urban Design

2021

Tasmanian Architecture Awards

Alan C Walker Award for Public Architecture

2021

Tasmanian Architecture Awards

Colorbond Steel Architecture

2021

Tasmanian Landscape Architecture Awards

Landscape Architecture Award for Tourism

2021

Architizer A+ Awards

Transportation Infrastructure - Jury Winner

2021

Architizer A+ Awards

Cultural & Expo Centres - Jury Winner

2021

National Landscape Architecture Awards

Landscape Architecture for Tourism

2021

National Architecture Awards

Finalist

Location

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

Client

Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Services

Year

2020

Images

Anjie Blair + Rob Burnett

Land of

Big River Nation

Jesse Hunniford

Video

Playstreet

Futago

ERA Planning

Inspired by Marketing

Creative Hat interpretation

Alex Miles

Aldanmark

COVA

Pitt & Sherry

Green Building Surveying

Green Design Group

Stantec

Cohen & Associates

NVC Acoustics

WT Partnership

Fairbrother

+

Cradle Mountain

Visitor Centre

Sharp geometric forms beckon to a honeyed cave

Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre is a building of contrasts. It’s imposing but harmonious. It’s an abstract interpretation of nature. And it’s modern with a rightness unrooted in time. Most surprising of all, perhaps, is how the raw exterior unwinds into a warm, soft, delicate timber lining.

With wild rainforests, rolling grasslands and roaming Tassie Devils, it's no surprise Cradle Mountain entices a surging number of visitors. But how can you design a meaningful visitor experience in a footprint never intended to accommodate that number of guests? The Visitor Centre is the first development in a major plan to reimagine the iconic Cradle Mountain experience.

The Visitor Centre offers a warm alpine welcome to reflect both the sense of rugged-up anticipation on arrival and the distinctive Cradle Mountain geology. The sculptural, wilderness-inspired development includes an orientation building, commercial services base, shuttle bus shelter and coach transit centre. At every turn, we aimed to honour the significance and sensitivity of this world-renowned national park.

Materials to mirror nature

We designed the buildings to feel grounded, as if carved from a solid rock by a glacier. The umbrella rain-screen form references the folding angular geology of the site, inviting visitors into the cave-like timber interior.

The choice of timber for the interior was about the poetics and qualities of the place. Because timber is natural, guests feel connected to nature. It often evokes a response other materials don’t.

Measured tourists footprints

The design required an in-depth understanding of visitor movements across the site. It needed to accommodate the wide gap between peak and average visitor numbers and feel inviting in both cases. 

Our intuitive way-finding strategy creates a flow to subtly guide visitors while they interact with site interpretation and visitor information. We used a hierarchy of space that organises services but lets the staggering natural setting sing out. 

No mountain high enough

The Visitor Centre design went through many iterations as more stakeholders saw the project’s potential. But we’re proud the essence and guiding goals remained constant throughout, even as other aspects shifted around them. It’s quite a feeling to walk inside the sculpted interior timber cave, a completely unexpected gem inside the building. Whilst the triangulated timber volume’s complex geometry proved a technical challenge, it’s all the more satisfying to admire it now knowing the hard work involved.